All skills, including professional ones, can be natural, learned, and mastered. As you grow up, the more of them you acquire, and the more of them you need.
As we transition towards a more technology-oriented future, more expertise is being demanded in the professional world than ever before. Technology and skills share an interesting relationship. We are working on, and with, technology to make things easier for us.
Yet, there is a rise in the requirement of unique skill sets to leverage technology, bend it to our liking, and invent new ones. Companies and businesses want people with specific professional skills much more than ever before.
Regardless of that, though, there are certain universal qualities that you need to exude as a professional. At times underestimated, and taken for granted, these qualities and skills can ensure you a successful career.
- Adaptability and willingness to learn
- Relaxation and rest
- Communication skills
This is possibly the biggest expectation from working professionals regardless of the industry and the size of an office they work in. The aspect of professionalism is often associated with the level of respect you have for your job, and that is not without reason.
Punctuality is, without a doubt, one of the first professional skills needed for career success and with good time management, it is easily achievable. For example, being punctual at the workplace means that you value your time, as well as that of your colleagues and seniors.
This is important, primarily when you work in a team, where others might be dependent on you and vice versa. It is also a sign that you respect and follow your office regulations. Unless you have flexible working hours, punctuality is not to be underestimated.
Universally, it is one of the most considered factors when it comes to appraising employees.
Professionalism is a broad term and we could have included the punctuality aspect into it. But you can be punctual and then not care about your work, at the same time. So many people are like that, actually! So we decided to keep these two points separate.
That said, you can consider being punctual as the very first step in showing professionalism in your work ethics. Then be responsible for your work. For example, try and finish your tasks in the time agreed, and communicate when you can’t.
You are the owner of your work, so be diligent at your workplace. Take ownership and assume accountability for the tasks assigned to you. It not only shows that you take your work seriously; it also highlights your leadership traits. And this is something that would help you progress in your career.
It would push you to work hard, which is good for all-round improvement of professional skills. Be a good team player as well. You may have individual responsibilities, but you are generally part of a team, and your collective efforts ensure the success of your project(s) and the team.
Keep an eye out for one another, help each other with technical stuff, learning a new skill, or merely getting a printout! Do not just sit at your desk, communicate with your team members and colleagues that sit around you. Let everyone know that you’re people-friendly.
3. Adaptability and willingness to learn
Whether you are a fresher joining your first company or an experienced professional switching to a new job, you always learn something new at a new place. In fact, you can learn new stuff by simply landing into a new team or a new project.
Be adaptable and show your will to learn new things. These two qualities help you in the overall development of your professional skills.
Your current skills make you good at your current job, but they may not be enough in a different team with different tasks. You cannot afford to fall behind. When you adapt well to changing requirements and responsibilities, you are able to maintain consistency in your performance. You also create fresh growth opportunities for yourself.
Expose yourself to new learning opportunities. It may not help you out in your current job or position, but your newly acquired skills can help you grow later. Research and dig out information that may help you understand and get better in your job. Thanks to the internet and digitization, access to information is easy.
In the present times, one of the things that working professionals are expected to be comfortable with is technology. Right from desktops & laptops to any new tools, software, or platforms, you are expected to learn and be good at handling everything, especially if it helps your organization.
Adaptability goes beyond adjusting to and learning new things. It is also as simple as getting comfortable at your workplace. Does your office have strict shift timings or fixed break schedules? Well, adhere to it. You can’t become a rebel against these things and expect nice things from the management in return!
Unless, of course, you are raising legit complaints.
4. Relaxation and rest
Something people have no time for, quite literally. Allowing yourself to relax is not a professional skill, but if you have to learn to do it, it is a skill that you need nonetheless!
People are so caught up with work today that they forget to give themselves the required rest. Goals in your professional life are good and important for your growth, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. It is a universal saying that people work so hard to earn money, only to spend it later to get back their lost health!
Rising competition, as well as the simple desire to earn as much money as possible, are leading people to work nonstop, disregarding that their body and mind can only take so much pressure. Being ambitious is quite natural, but it shouldn’t override other aspects of your life.
Take proper rest, sleep for a good deal of hours, and learn to relax and give some time to yourself. Many people often underestimate the significance of a good rest. It not only refreshes your body and mind, but it is also an inseparable part of a healthy lifestyle.
When you are relaxed and fresh, you can think better, which enables you to do everything more efficiently than you would do when you’re tired and stressed out.
And relaxation doesn’t only mean to rest. You can relax by indulging in a hobby, for instance. Listen to your favorite music, watch a movie, or take a random day off work and go out to have some fun. Break the routine, and allow your mind to work on other things than just work.
You have no idea how many incredible ideas and solutions can come to mind when you are actually not thinking about them proactively.
It also makes you a better person. Stress can adversely affect your personality. While not everyone becomes a grumpy person, yet so many people out there become short-tempered and get easily irritated at things when they are too tired and stressed out.
Of course, you can’t always relax at your will, and there are many things in life that may require you to work relentlessly. But the point is to not make it a habit. Create a work-life balance and learn to disconnect. You will be a happier person.
5. Communication skills
This is something that is one of the most effective but at times underrated, skills that you can have.
There are so many people around the world who are absolutely fantastic at their job, but they lack effective communication skills. And while it may not be a big problem in some professions, lack of communication skills can actually hinder your growth in many others.
Communication skill is a non-technical skill, but the one you can definitely learn and master. For instance, successfully communicating with your colleagues and seniors is one of the things that gets your job done. Ineffective communication can lead to an unnecessarily long time in completing a task.
It could also lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding between team members. The issue of not being good with communication is more significant than it may seem. In a number of domains like marketing, for example, your communication skills can even land you a good job and also a guaranteed promotion.
Acquiring some universal skills that help you in your professional life is more or less about having the right mindset. In the quest to master job-specific skill sets, people often ignore and underestimate the significance of qualities that hold meaning not only in a professional environment but also in personal lives.
You should be proactive enough to learn new things, sport a positive attitude, and approach your work with enthusiasm. You must realize that any skill takes time to develop, and that also varies from person to person. Experience also teaches you a lot of things that only it can teach; for example, managing people, negotiating appraisals, the pace of doing specific tasks, etc.
Some may learn faster than others, while some may take time. It also depends on your natural ability to grasp things, as well as your interest level. The more interested you are, the faster and better you can acquire skills that help you grow as a professional.
Author Bio: Samuel Alfie is a blogger at ProProfs Discuss. He loves reading and writing about a variety of topics including e-learning, e-commerce, science, philosophy, pop culture, traveling, digital media, and more. With a knack for writing, enthusiasm for research and an editorial mindset, he loves creating content that resonates with the audience.